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Witches cast spell on the VAT rise.


6:05am 12th January 2011

Witches from the York Dungeon have taken a tip from real-life Romanian witches and will be ‘cursing’ the coalition in protest at the new VAT rise.

Romanian witches cast a spell on their president Traian Basescu last week over plans to tax the country’s witches for the first time.

Mirroring a gathering of Romanian witches on the Danube and the casting of Mandrake on the river to put a Macbeth-style hex on the President, witches from the York Dungeon will do the same on the Ouse on Wednesday.

Natalie the Dungeon witch said:

“Our Romanian sisters are aggrieved because they hardly earn anything in the first place, but the VAT rise in the UK could seriously damage tourism.”

The York witches – a coven of four – have composed a rhyming curse, which they will utter while pinching and prodding effigies of Cameron and Clegg and casting their offering on the river.

Here's the curse you will hear if you head to the Ouse today:

Audio player placeholder for "witch curse"

Natalie the witch added:

“In terms of price competitiveness Britain was already bottom of a list of 133 countries taking into account ticket taxes, airport charges, fuel and hotel prices and purchasing power, and that was before the VAT rise,” said Dungeon boss Helen Douglas.

“An industry report in 2008 showed we’d slipped from sixth to eighth place as a tourist destination.

“David Cameron says he wants us up in the Top Five, but the coalition is going to have to start treating attractions and tourism as a special case if he is serious about that. Otherwise we’ll continue to go in the other direction.”

Wednesday’s ceremony will take place at 10am on the river side at the bottom of Clifford Street, York.

York Dungeon launched a new attraction ‘Witches – Burned Alive’ in 2010, which helped the attraction enjoy a bumper year.

It sees visitors plucked from the audience to face summary trial, and a startlingly realistic ‘burning at the stake.'

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